Better Mornings, Better Life

How you begin each day sets the tone for how you live each day. If you win your mornings, you win the rest of your day. Set a positive tone for each day and you will have a more positive life because your life is merely an accumulation of days. Each day is your life in miniature. How you live each day is how you live your life.

So many people wake-up and follow a morning ritual that merely focuses on the mechanics of getting ready for work or school. No thought is given to planning their day, reconnecting with their goals, learning, cultivating gratitude, or listening to something inspirational.

Many high performers recommend you begin each morning, reading, writing, and running. Reading an inspirational book, writing in a journal, and exercising. Morning exercise revs-up your metabolism which gives you more energy and releases Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) “Miracle-gro” for the brain.

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If you want to improve the quality of your life, it begins with improving the quality of your morning routine. Don’t stumble out of bed, shower, eat, and rush off to work. Chaotic mornings produce a chaotic life. I challenge you to take charge of your mornings. In just a few days or weeks you’ll notice a drastic improvement in your attitude, energy, and perspective. Best wishes and good luck!

Learn more, Control the Spirit of Your Day with One Easy Habit, The Habit: Week-4 (Keep a Journal), Prime Yourself Each Morning with Exercise.

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Our Excuses are a Prison that Protects Us from Pain

We tend to take responsibility for our successes, but we create stories for our failures. If there is an area of our life that we are not doing well, we usually have a story around it. My boss doesn’t like me. I have a slow metabolism. I don’t have time to log my food or prepare meals. I don’t see a path forward in my career, so there is no point in doing more than I must. They don’t pay me enough. I don’t have time to read or take a course. I don’t have the resources. I don’t know the right people. I don’t have time to work out.

These stories protect us by shifting the responsibility. Blaming things outside our control serves to insulate us from self-incrimination. The reason we feel physical and emotional discomfort is to force us to act. Pain causes us to remove our hand from a hot stove, and we instantly learn not to touch it. When we create a story, we don’t feel the pain we should be feeling. It is like a medicine that treats the symptoms of a disease but doesn’t address the underlying cause. Remove the pain and, the lesson is never learned.

Taking ownership is empowering. When we take responsibility for everything good and bad in our lives, we can fix them. When we fall into the trap of blaming others for our problems, then we are held hostage. We must wait for them to fix our problem, and we could wait forever for that to happen.

The problem with our excuses is that many of them are valid, but that doesn’t mean they are outside our control. Your boss doesn’t like you. You can either become too good to be ignored, or you could find another job. Your metabolism is slow.  A lot of people overcome a slow metabolism. There is no shortage of body transformations on the web. Many of these people share their strategies to help others. We have the power to overcome any obstacle, but it all begins with believing we can.

The secret to doing better is taking responsibility. When you realize that you are both the source of your problems and the source of your solutions to those problems, your life changes. “Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” —Theodore Vail.

Learn more, Let’s Get Real, Let’s Get Motivated.

Wisdom without Action is Wasted

“Knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge is only POTENTIAL power. The execution of knowledge is where your power lies. Knowledge is not mastery. Execution is mastery. Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week.” Tony Robbins

The best strategies in the world will not help you if you don’t execute them. The world is full of highly intelligent and knowledgeable people that don’t accomplish anything. Their ideas are never implemented. Their plans never executed.

Reading, learning, and planning are great, but without execution they are meaningless. Reading a great book and becoming excited about what you learned is only the beginning. You must find a way to execute on the ideas.

I recommend you read a great book over and over again until you have sucked every bit of useful information out of it. True learning occurs through repetition. “It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency.” Aristotle

Don’t fall into the trap of reading a lot of books but failing to apply what you have learned from any of them. It is better to read one book, highlight it, re-read it until repeatedly until applying it is smooth and natural. Repetition leads to mastery. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Bruce Lee

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”  Zig Ziglar

Learn more, Knowledge is NOT Power

Why You Need An Accountability Partner

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” Bob Proctor

If you struggle to keep promises to yourself but find it is easier to keep commitments to others, you should use that to your advantage. Ask your spouse or a trusted friend to be your accountability partner. An accountability partner is a potent tool for anyone who struggles to keep promises to themselves, which means it is a powerful tool for anyone. None of us are perfect. We are all striving to do better, or we have given up on doing better. If you are struggling, congratulate yourself for not giving up like so many people have. Perhaps your accountability partner is also struggling with forming a good habit or eliminating a bad habit. You can help each other. You can give each other that little-added push to do better.

Once you have identified someone to be your accountability partner, follow this simple three-step process:

  1. Tell them your goal.
  2. Tell them what you plan to do each day to achieve your goal.
  3. Schedule a weekly check-in to review your triumphs and failures.

 Ensure your goal is measurable. If you cannot quantify it, you cannot measure your progress toward achieving it. Let your accountability partner know what daily disciplines you are going to install to reach your goal. Put your weekly check-ins on your calendar as a reoccurring weekly meeting. What gets scheduled gets done. This check-in must be a consistent event for it to be effective.

At the designated time, meet with or call your accountability partner. Recap your week. Share your triumphs and struggles. Celebrating your successes and receiving encouragement will create a positive feedback loop that will only make you more motivated to chase after your goals. The journey of self-improvement doesn’t have to be a lonely one. We don’t have to go it alone.

Social rewards are effective. They help us sustain motivation. We should share our journey with people that care about us. Having an accountability partner will provide that little-added push you need to overcome temptations when they arise. Having an accountability partner is a game changer. Knowing you will have to share any failures with your accountability partner might be that little extra incentive you need. It might be that little extra push that stiffens your resolve. No one likes to disappoint others.

I believe that at least 50% of the benefit you receive from having a personal trainer or career coach is the added layer of accountability it creates. High performers often have coaches. Many top personal trainers have a personal trainer to help them stay on track and avoid falling into a rut. When we discuss our goals with someone else, develop a plan of action, and then schedule regular check-ins to assess our progress we do better.

If you are SERIOUS; if you want to produce results, you’ll find someone to be your accountability partner. If you are hesitant to find an accountability partner, then you might want to admit to yourself that that thing you want to accomplish isn’t a priority. It isn’t worth whatever it is you must sacrifice to achieve it. When we are committed to achieving a goal, we shape our environment to make it happen. An accountability partner is one way of shaping your environment to put it on yourself to do better.

Learn more, Why Creating a Sense of Urgency is so Important

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When Faith is Needed Most

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is easy to have faith and confidence when things are going well, but that isn’t when faith is needed. Faith is necessary when everything is falling apart. Faith is required when no one believes in you. When you start to question yourself, that is when you must call on faith. You must confront your doubts. You must believe success is still possible because if you don’t believe it is possible, then for you it isn’t.

Faith is needed most when times are difficult. When you fail, again and again, you must believe that success is still possible. We must hold firm when others doubt us. It is ok for others to doubt us, but we can never allow their doubt to creep into our mind if we want to succeed. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln

We always have a chance of succeeding if we persist.If life is hard, then do it hard. Keep the faith. Redouble your effort and determination. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison

Learn more, Slow progress is still progress. Stay motivated and press on.

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